Gastrointestinal System Disorders Q 329 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Sunday 10 April 2022

Gastrointestinal System Disorders Q 329

While a female client is being prepared for discharge, the nasogastric (NG) feeding tube becomes clogged. To remedy this problem and teach the client’s family how to deal with it at home, what should the nurse do?
    A. Irrigate the tube with warm water.
    B. Advance the tube into the intestine.
    C. Apply intermittent suction to the tube.
    D. Withdraw the obstruction with a 30-ml syringe.

Correct Answer: A. Irrigate the tube with warm water.

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) recommends warm water as the best initial choice for trying to unclog a feeding tube. First, attach a 30- or 60-mL piston syringe to the feeding tube and pull back the plunger to help dislodge the clog. Next, fill the flush syringe with warm water, reattach it to the tube, and attempt a flush.

Option B: Advancing the NG tube is inappropriate because the tube is designed to stay in the stomach and isn’t long enough to reach the intestines. If there is still continued resistance, gently move the syringe plunger back and forth to help loosen the clog. Then, clamp the tube to allow the warm water to penetrate the clog for up to 20 minutes.
Option C: Applying intermittent suction or using a syringe for aspiration is unlikely to dislodge the material clogging the tube but may create excess pressure.If the patient’s feeding tube becomes clogged, attempt to unclog it before replacing it, which is both costly and uncomfortable for the patient. The belief that carbonated beverages or cranberry juice will unclog a feeding tube is a persistent nursing myth. In fact, these beverages have an acidic pH that can worsen the occlusion by causing proteins in the EN formula to precipitate within the tube.
Option D: Intermittent suction may even collapse the tube. Consistently flushing feeding tubes with water as scheduled during EN therapy and medication administration is the best way to minimize the risk of occlusions.

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